Braised Lamb Neck Chops with Chickpeas and Harissa

Braised lamb neck chops are one of my favorite cuts of lamb to serve, but a whole neck is a cut of meat that can be a little intimidating. With that in mind, instead of only whole lamb necks, you can now order them sliced into individual portions from us, which makes them cook faster and makes them easier to eat.

Braised goat neck with tomato, chickpeas and harissa Moroccan recipe

The recipe is a simple simmer with tomatoes, chickpeas and spicy harissa paste inspired by Moroccan flavors. Sliced lamb neck is used here but diced shoulder or shanks can be used too. It’s rich, slightly spicy, and a fantastic way to cook cuts of lamb that need to be slow cooked.

sliced lamb neck steaks
Sliced lamb and goat necks are easier to cook than whole ones.

Homemade harissa (recipe below) is very good, and lets you control the heat level a bit more than store-bought versions, that can be very spicy.

Braised goat neck with tomato, chickpeas and harissa Moroccan recipe
Slow simmered lamb neck chops with a rich tomato sauce, chickpeas, herbs and spices.

The necks cook up so tender you can cut them with a spoon, and the cooking liquid soaks into the tomatoes and chickpeas making for a delicious, simple meal. Serve it with some wilted greens or rice on the side. And don’t forget the yogurt! The entire recipe is demonstrated in the video.

Braised lamb neck with chickpeas and harissa Moroccan Recipe
Tender meat that falls off the bone.

Chef Alan Bergo
Chef Alan Bergo.



This recipe is by James Beard Award-winning Chef Alan Bergo, a chef from Minnesota and author of The Forager Chef’s Book of Flora. Learn more about Chef Alan at 

Looking to buy lamb or goat online? Shepherd Song Farm: Grass to table. We raise lambs & goats traditionally, humanely and sustainably. 100% Grass Fed, Pasture Raised, Never Confined, no Hormones, Grains or Animal Byproducts. Born, raised and processed in the U.S.A. Good for you and good for the environment.

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Braised lamb neck with chickpeas and harissa Moroccan Recipe
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5 from 1 vote

Braised Lamb Neck Chops with Chickpeas and Harissa

A simple braise of sliced lamb or goat neck with tomato, chickpeas, and harissa paste inspired by the flavors of Morocco. Serves 4
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time2 hours
Total Time2 hours 15 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Moroccan
Keyword: Bring to the boil, cook lamb neck, lamb chops, Lamb Neck
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 173kcal
Cost: 20


  • 1 dutch oven or slow cooker


  • 4 slices lamb neck
  • 2 tablespoons rendered lamb fat or cooking oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 medium 8 oz yellow onion
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 2 tablepoons quick harissa paste (see recipe)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 15 oz can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas
  • 3 cups lamb stock
  • 1 tablespoon finely sliced fresh mint optional
  • Thick Greek yogurt loosened with a splash of cream or milk, for serving (optional)



  • Squeeze the seeds out of the tomatoes, then roughly mince them-a little texture is ok.

Dry brine the lamb

  • Season the lamb neck slices on both sides with salt and pepper and allow to rest overnight or for at least a few hours before braising.

Browning the meat

  • Preheat oven to 275 F.
  • In a dutch oven or large frying pan, heat the fat on medium high heat until lightly smoking, then brown the neck slices well on both sides.
  • When the neck slices are browned, remove them, add the onion, turn the heat down to medium and cook for 2 minutes, then add the harissa and tomato paste, cook for a minute more, then add the tomatoes and their juice along with the stock and chickpeas.


  • Tuck the slices of lamb neck under the liquid, then cook, uncovered in a 275 F oven for 2 hours or until meat is tender.
  • From here the neck can be cooled to room temperature and refrigerated and will improve in flavor if made the day beforehand.

Chilling and de-fatting

  • After chilling, scrape the excess fat from the top of the pot and discard, or save for cooking some leafy greens to accompany the dish. Alternately, tilt the pan to the side as I do in the video and spoon off most of the fat.


  • Reduce the sauce until the consistency is to your liking, adding a little water if it seems dry, or reducing a bit if it seems loose. Adjust the seasoning for salt until it tastes good to you, then, right before serving, stir in the shredded mint if using.
  • Put the lamb slices on plates or in a casserole dish, spoon the pan juices and chickpeas over the top of each, garnish with a dollop of yogurt, and serve.



Quick Harissa 

  • 1 tbsp large red bell pepper
  • 3 tbsp large cloves garlic
  • ¼ cup rendered lamb fat or substitute flavorless cooking oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 Tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon Smoked paprika


  • Roast the bell pepper on a burner until charred all over, then put in a paper bag, cool, then peel, de-seed, and coarsely chop. Combine the pepper with the garlic, oil, cumin, cayenne and the smoked paprika in a blender or food processor and puree.
  • Transfer the puree to a small pan and cook on medium heat, stirring constantly for 15 minutes, or until the mixture is deeply caramelized, it’s orange color will change to a deep red. Alternately, the pepper paste can be baked in a 350 degree oven for 20-30 minutes being stirred occasionally, until deeply colored.
  • You should have about 3 tablespoons of paste.


Serving: 2chops | Calories: 173kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.03g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 444mg | Potassium: 377mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 209IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 58mg | Iron: 3mg

Braised lamb neck with chickpeas and harissa Moroccan Recipe